Commentary

Mobile Dependence On Search, Social Recommendations Climbs

ChristmasGiftsOnline activity while shopping in stores continues to gain popularity. A Performics study conducted by ROI Research released Thursday reveals that consumers turn to social between 20% and 50% of the time, and search between 18% and 62% of the time, to find information about products.

In fact, 62% said they conduct competitive price searches while in a retail location, 45% check in at a store, 41% use a search engine on their mobile phone to look for information, and 30% use a barcode scanner on their mobile phone to shop for prices. The study also finds that 25% pause while at a physical location prior to finalizing a purchase to find advice on a social network, and 41% said they wait between five and 10 minutes for advice on social sites before proceeding with their purchase.

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Apparently, consumers who are active in social networks often rely on shopping sites. About 87% turn to brand Web sites or Amazon and eBay to begin the purchase process. About 83% sign onto these sites directly before they commit to a purchase. These consumers -- 59% -- said they are more likely to sign on to social networks such as Facebook immediately after the purchase to share their experience.

Performics estimates that mobile paid-search clicks will reach 17.3% of all search clicks in December 2011, up from Google's estimate of 9.5% in the year-ago month. In September, Performics said Google search clicks from mobile devices rose to 14.2% of all search clicks. Tablets reached 35.8% of all mobile search clicks in September, up from 34.3% in August.

Performics Senior Analyst James Beveridge and Research Associate Cristina Lucero describe in a blog post the mobile search patterns seen last year. They tell us that as shoppers get close to the final days before the holidays, when shipping is no longer feasible, mobile use will rise as people look for local stores to make purchases.

Search marketers should mark the days on a calendar. Despite growth, mobile paid search continues to undercut desktop paid-search keyword prices. Average mobile clicks are currently 53% less expensive than computer clicks. This is something search marketers may want to keep in mind, as the holidays approach. 

3 comments about "Mobile Dependence On Search, Social Recommendations Climbs".
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  1. Jacquelyn Krones from Microsoft, October 27, 2011 at 6:07 p.m.

    The numbers seemed high to me so I found the study on Slideshare and the sample represents users who claim they use social networks as part of the purchase process "at least occasionally". That makes more sense - it would be interesting to know what % of the pop is represented by that group. Additionally, not breaking out "occasionally" from "frequently" leaves me wondering if there actually is a substantial users base in this sample who engage in these behaviors regularly.

  2. Dori Schwaiger from TopHealthSpot.com, October 27, 2011 at 7:52 p.m.

    you would have to ask yourself after reading this article, why go out shopping to a mall if your going stand there and shop everything on your phone. I'm thinking you might as well save the gas stay home and just shop online. That's why I am heavily invested in affiliate websites. Think about it!

  3. Jackie Kmetz from SpaceCurve, October 28, 2011 at 12:34 a.m.

    Thanks for the clarification Jacquelyn--my jaw hit the floor when I read those generous figures. That makes more sense!

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